Interview Schwarzenberg


Q: Last year was 20 years after the Berlin Wall collapsed, after 20 years, do you think the cold war is really finished?

A: Yes, of course, the "classical" cold war finished, but it of course doesn't mean 20 years ago thought of great amen that is end of history.

Look, as a powers, big nations remaining, they have their interest and ambitions, and that goes on independently of which regime was who lead them, so we have a lot of cold war which was the conflict between the communist states of soviet union, and the west. But the new conflict appearing, the new powers appearing, and so that in human beings, quite like to kill each other, to press each other, conflict whenever stopped.

Q: Medias from the west, especially from America, UK, France, or Germany, from one side, they welcome the former communist countries come back to Europe, but from the other side, they seems always focus the negative points of these countries, what is your comment?

A: Of course, you see, first of all, as you say, mean average medias are reporting quite correctly, not always, but it is a rule. but of course, first of all, there are problems in our countries, and these fifty years of the pressure of dictatorship appear, first the Nazi time then the communist times, of course they have many vestiges, in the society, in the gather of people, in the behaviors and so on, which are now clearly to be seen, and then, you may see follow, medias for many decades they do, even in their reporting, there are fashionable things, and things which go out of fashion, And that's very certified positives too, so there were really quite objectively reporting, in something which I worked for many years, in some way I am still doing today, human rights, there were times, that human rights were really in the focus of media, and times went, I think it out of fashion. People moieties that in the conflict the economic whatever, and were less it is, in the new behalf, or report about economy, sometimes, they get points were not so much interested, about foreign policy, about Africa, or about everything, everything comes more out fashion, or more fashionable, that's mean order in the media too.

Q:Do you think there is a trend, that the western countries think the former communist countries is taking the advantage of them, because these countries were not so developed, and poorer than them?

A: Let's say the rich people always in that habit too. That's the way as the rules so, which is not always quite correct, no. Of course there were things, that we had to learn from the western countries, we learned some good things, we learned quite a lot of bad things too, let's be quite honest, of course the influence comes, and again, you see there was a time away, does everything with fashionable which came from the west? And then for instance the influences, that's to be fit. You see.

Q:The relations between Czech and Russia,

A: The relationship between Czech and Russia, is very strange, because, we have a vertical venation, basically, that Czechs are not against Russians, there were not their boos of bias as was in Hungary and Poland for instance. First of all, of course, there were a certain heritage of Pan Slavic thinking from the 19th century, we want look to escape the imparity, and the ambition of them actuary. Then it doubt with the fact, that the year 1945, great part of the country, was liberated by the red army of the soviet union, by coincident, all of them, Russian impact them, many word not all Russians, but Tatars, or Kazakhstanis, that so whatever, and strangely, even in occupation in year 1968, they didn't change this mood so much, of course, a lot of people get fed up by the Russians, there were short time really hated, but when the Czech thought, these poor boys, who were in the red army, were in the worse condition than them, the way, their officers of soviet army behave to the soldiers, and these unhappy witch faces, suddenly, it's seem to a sympathy, so that, as it is, that's a Czech generally quite like Russians, you turn or even quite competitive,they didn't like Soviet union system, they didn't like the way the Soviet army behave here, but they are not really anti Russian country that.

Q: Let's go back to year between 1945 and 1948, the reason that Czech Slovak to be a member of Soviet Union group, besides all those international reasons, does it because that Czechoslovak people have a strong wish to go back to Slav nation?

A: It was one part of it, you mustn't forget it was after the 6 years of the German occupation, which was an unpleasant experience, be like the Japanese occupation of China, so there was very strong anti-German feeling, that of course, move the sympathy to above Russians, this was one of it, then you must not forget, the Europe, part of world before War II, got an economy crisis, a lot of unemployment, so, you must not forget in the 1940s, there was a strong leading to the left all over Europe, as in France, as in Italy, then, about one third of the population voted for the communist party. Don't forget that. And the same was here, was a little bit more, and so that, the communist quite well success to organized to take over the power in Feb. 1948, and came quite relevant base.

Q: Again 41 years unpleasant experience,

A: Again 41 years the dictatorship, that's true. So, let's be honest, even this short time between 1945 and 1948, was very very imperfective democracy, and definitely not a rule of law. So, the conditions for the next dictatorship, was very very prepared already at that time.

Q:Do you think then, at this moment, the distance between Czech and Russia is further and further?

A: Well, of course, now it totally in a different world, we have learned our lessons, and so definitely nowadays the over head in mood in the Czech Republic, in the populations, we are part of the West, we have do a strict our mistakes, we carry on some positions, some attitudes, from the past with us, but generally, we are a normal western European country.

Q: We have heard that, somebody told the countries like Czech and Poland like "Sandwich" countries, for in the middle of western power and Russian power.

A: I mean it is not always been pleasant to be a small country, between big powers, that's true I mean in our history, there was always a bit difficult situation, as we can't turn the Czech Republic into a beautiful island in the pacific ocean, so, probably, we have to live with the conditions. You see.

Q: Then the way of development of these kinds of countries?

A: I do think, generally, that we have started, we are progressing, with the European states, which in global measures, all of them, all of them are not big states, even the big European countries, like Britain, France, and Germany, is best,as best as big as the Chinese power, not even less of them, I said that is, the countries should unit, and I think, develop in the model the unite of European Union, it is some way towards future.

Q: Yesterday, President of Czech and Poland, both critic EU again, but if want to play same role as the big powers like America, Russia, and China, EU must be united.

A: Even we never been completely unified state as US, or like China, because we have by coincident with states which are thousand years old with own languages, traditions, cultures, and so on, but I think we are approaching a each other closer and closer, if, look 20 or 50 years back, then I sees, the enormous progress which was done, severalty get closer and closer, with difficulties sometimes, but closer and closer go. By I think, and I think it is a way of our future. And I think we are already quite good success in economic first, in some of understood, so I do think the unite is the way for the future, of course, there are some, the 2 heads of states, the president Kaczynski, and Vaclav Klaus, critics of the Lisbon Treaty, of the more political European Union, which is legit able opinion, I don't share it, but maybe it s quite sounds, if we hears sometimes some critics.

Q: Then, what direct the world? Don't you think monopolization leads the economic crisis?

A: I think the economic crisis have some several reasons, not only one reason. But I doubt it, one of the main reasons, the irresponsible behavior of quite amount of bankers. And I would like to stress it, the irresponsible behavior of some politicians, who to gain for vote, as to be more popular and so on and so on, in despites the morning, signs of the economic crisis were long to be seen. I know in the last past of years, I discussed with some wiser man the situation, as we all had the impression, there is, we didn't know when, but there, it can't go on like that, and will end with the economical crisis, and it happened, but the politicians didn't admit them. So I do think, as an irresponsible man, as an irresponsible politician, had made cooperation for the crisis to world. You see, it is still always, history is done by concrete persons. Nothing just happens, nothing just happens, everything has reason, somebody has acted, or not acted.

Q: Do you think the enlargement of NATO, will influence the political position of the countries like Czech, Poland, and Hungary, who to be member of NATO from year 1999?

A:it has a certain influence, yes, because, you quoted the expression of the Sandwich countries, now we are not in between, we are one part of the western areas, we are not in the between of the sandwiches, so that change definitely our thinking and our situation. Or quote that way, our situation thereof our thinking.

Q: but, do you think the new members will influence the old member's position?

A:Of course, we influence each other, defiantly the very beginning, the influence of the traditional older NATO members, who was the creator. But it changes, more and more, more and more, more and more officers of our army, member of the different staffs, of the planning staff, more and more public servant, more and more of our diplomats , more and more policies in our countries, where connect NATO programs, so we get indicated, the more indicated, the more influence you have.

Q: The Radar base, we should say missile defend system, and the Obama government declared the change,

A: We are positive, and I do think we need some anti-missile system in Europe, there should be discussion in between, what is the effective one, we didn't invent this system, it was a proposal of the Americans, as Americans are, our allies we accepted. It was the Americans themselves do think they would like to change, it up to them. You see, it up to them, and we are discussing with them, what could be in the future. We will see, I do think, it always seem developments, each new a version that to change to the before policy have a new relation with other countries, the previous missile station. In this case, Obama tried to have a better relation with Russia, with Iran, and I don't know with whom, he will, up to them, each missile station, realizes, it is a possibility of change, and limited, because as I told you, instead the same, nations have their interest, have their wills, have their power, have their ambitions, so, in this limited frames, there will change what he will do.

Q: Do you think the system is necessary to the countries like Czech, it is more from Technical reason, or political?

A: I do think it is necessary for Europe. (from technical?)yes, We have to think in defense problems, not anymore only in the categories to think European countries, be the Czech Republic, Portugal or Norway, we do have to think in the frame of European defense, you see, and I think that's important, that we all start to think in that way, and the missile defense of Europe, is one objective of discussion.

Q:Do you think the changed plan, the new system is really more effective? Or it is like retread for to going ahead, to deal with Russia?

A:I am not experienced military, to answer this question seriously, I think I would need to work one month only on this question to find out what advantages is, and what is disadvantages. I would dare not to think about it, because I mean, at this moment, I don't know enough about it.

Q: When Obama government declare the change, immediately, there was Russian media told, it is earthquake to Czech and Poland, what's your comments on it?

A: Well, use a different earth quake maybe, you have a traffic inhibits in Haiti?Then there were somewhere, sometime earthquakes, if they do hardly feel anything, in the next day the newspaper, you hear that in the country was earthquake, and you as best, if you just listening, just beat the windows, so, I mean, what is the earthquake, I do think the relations between America and Russia didn't change so much, it was not Haiti earthquake.

Q: But this mentioned by Russian Media, what is your comment that why the media told like this?

A: I don't know which kind of earthquake they mentioned. Really, It was 5 months ago, in the morning when you awoke, in the newspaper read, there was earthquake in this country, but nobody hear of it, you see.

Q: Your comments on the relationship between Czech and China, not only the government level, but also the civilian level.

A:Let's be quite honest, that relations, we know hardly each about other, of course in any Czech shop nowadays, you find some Chinese products, but that's all of us heard, now quite a lot of businessman interested, and young people traveling to China, and I see more and more Chinese in Prague too, still, of course, first of all, we are very very small country, and China is one of the biggest countries in the world, there are different dimensions, but our slowly and slowly, at least we hear in country, he know a bit more about China, I do say the generality attitude to this, interested, not unfriendly to China, but still China field, it is a country far away, of course everyone knows, it is a power still on rise and already, having a pressing desires, but still on rise. I have no ideas, if any normal Chinese has any idea with the Czech Republic, and I am on acute doubt about it. Because it is by far out of our top interest, but I think that the knowledge goes slowly and becomes better. That's all what I can say for the moment.

Q:How do you evaluate the capacity of China, to dealing with the economic crisis? And there is a word "Chinese Model" exist, how do you think of it?

A:China had some very impressive success in the last decades, develop of China, between the 1950s and now, I mean, the last 50 years, are really very impressive, that's one side. And the other side, one shouldn't ignore at least, what I know about it, but I was never really been in China, it is, that's the big needs of the development, one which I think is along with for China, of oppose importance, is quality of water in China, where enormous I hears there are, were practically, the water is not undrinkable, because there a lot of poisons definite, the environment policy in China, is a really problem; they have the same problem, with the Chinese minorities, not only the known one but some old minorities who live inside China, I had a friend who visited them, and she was shocked the conditions what they live, and of course the enormous difference between country and town cause an inside(problem) , so China faces still enormous problems, and, probably, with the next generation. In somehow some way if they will be helped, but couldn't know alone how this development will be. Of course, the China government tries to prevent it, ala wrong, because, no country has succeeded in the history with it. It is enormous economic development can be carry down then there is, will flatten down, when probably, some of the really problems appear. For the moment, normal Chinese, could be concerned, because if he go back what he is already achieve do, but who is apprehensive, doubt it, he is far be it of. But you know it could be in a one generation relation with the others, and if the, what call the Chinese model, then will still work, I am not so quite sure. I am not so quite sure it will real work, but, I don't dare to say more about it, I can just say, how to compare a lot of with other countries, and in the moment if ask the capacity, we said no, hard to listen about China, why should speak something when we don't know very well? So I wouldn't dare to speak about it, but I did to see some critical moment, especially if we look the environment, which was negative for many years. The quality of water, half past of China, if consider rich, be a bit, china will be very much rich very soon, so there of course, there are problems, problems approach nose, no doubt about that. But, still I mean, the Han, in the world, in the past, creating enormous civilization, created enormous culture, histories, China do its probably importance but to deep decay in the 19 century, So I mean, I never saw hardly a nation , so acceptable, in half past of the world, I mean if you come to the South American, if you come to Singapore, if you come where gathered Chinese communities are, they mean you are surprised the discipline, and so on and so on, so it is a quite interesting nation for me.

Q: There exist the re-evaluation of socialism, because of China, what's your opinion of it?

A: But I don't know if you call, if we said, what is today of China, it calls socialism. I remembers more some Chinese restaurant, which I visited in Hong Kong, or in Singapore, all these when I traveled in the countries, if you looked, it is a name of the dish from the menu, and what you got on the table, you see,......, so if the dishes, is still called socialism, what you got on the table, it is such different. You see. .... It is very own model, It is interesting model, but, has to do with socialism? It as if you have a wonderful politic name on a Chinese menu card, compare what you got on the table.

Q: Only coffee? Without milk and sugar? Black coffee?

A: NO, never, pure poison.

Q: Tibet is always the key problem of Chinese diplomatic,

A: Of course, we note about that, Tibet a search, the DALAI LAMA as a personality, enjoys a normal sympathy, in Czech Republic, he is one of the most popular person here, and when he comes to Prague, incredible a lot of young people within some older to crowd, indicate him, enjoy and proud him, so DALAILAMA has his own fascination, and that's no doubt about his deepest yet here, all kinds of people, and that's something perfect, I have mentioned proper, as you think, one problem in China is, that the HAN population, didn't find out how to live with minorities, let them to have their own lives. You see. Which did a lot of mistakes in world history, it is not Chinese specialty, there were the other nations who did the same.

Q: And not only Chinese government, but also Chinese people, both are very sensitive to the opposite position, what is your opinion on it?

A: I would not dare to speak about Chinese people, maybe, if I would live there for several years, I didn't live anywhere in China, not so much contact with Chinese people. But of course, with China government, I do think the China government, which is understandable but, with the generation, which educated there and so on, make the same mistakes, that the Europeans government did in 19th or 20th centuries. It is sad, but that China who suffered very much, and, this position of European nations in the 19th and 20th century, now applies the same politic to the minorities, you see, it is rather some copy of European nation 150 years ago. Let's be honest a lot of it, you do quite European education, be it major system in the western's colors, all that had it a question, and lamentably, we from Europe, not our very best ideas to export it to China.

Q: China is 150 or 200 years behind Europe, but playing on the same stage, wear the similar dress, and speak different languages.

A: About China, let's be honest, very unhappy, ideological export of Europe, the 20th century, be it , the Nazis, be it, the expansionism ,or the combination, the national socialist, we export this on the world, and sees there found, pupils who learned this lessons very quickly, all around the world. And it is disaster of their own nations, if they plan this gets a piece, that's it. but let's be honest, there will be not origin Chinese ideas, but that European indication.

Q: After the 2nd World War, the iron curtain exist, and Vienna was one of the European capital behind the curtain, but Austria succeeded to be independent in year 1955, why Austria is possible, but Czech and Hungary not possible?

A: Vienna was really not quite behind the iron curtain, because it was true in year 1955 was throw out by the Russia and so on, but in Vienna like in Berlin, well all four occupied powers, the Russia, the America, the Britain, the French, so it there was disappeared behind the iron power, for attain the courage of the Austrians, who kept the countries united and independent, they use the windows of opportunity in 1955, there was after the Stalin's death, they went the Khrushchev, they called Khrushchev Сергеевич proceed the new position of Soviet Union, the world do elation, they uses the chance to establish again, Austria independent, the new credity, since that true, Vienna has very neutral position, that's true

Q: Why it is possible for Austria, but not possible for Hungary and Czech, for example?

A: Hungary was have no chance, Hungary after the second world War, was only occupied by the Soviet Army, Austria, huge part of Austria, whenever Russian thought they came into Carinthia, Tyrol and so on and so on, said part of Styria, so there was a different situation, let's be honest, the Austrian politician, after world War II, were very courage and wise people, I knew them still, the ......, and they were impressive people, they had courage, and use the supports from the west powers, as I think, but, they were greaters , and he only half a year ago died Mr......., hold 90, who was then, Union leader of workers, trade union, when the communist in the beginning of 1950s tried, but couldn't tied Vienna, he got created trade Union, and with sticks I think, they surprise it, under the Soviet Union looking at the......, and the workers themselves, were beating the communist, so I mean there were several crashers people.

At the World War II, Austria was part of Germany, many young assistant, male soldiers, came into the Soviet Union, so they enormous miserable there, so, then, to them, who were in the Soviet Union, nobody could explain, the Soviet Union is a worker's paradise, because they thought both of sides, you see, and that, they dedicated defend too, and that it is interesting that, the number of supporting the communist party in Austria, felled dramatically, after the prisoner of the War from Soviet union come back, reported to the families, what they saw.

Q: do you think the democracy in CZ is already mature, compare to other western countries?

A: You know, but the democracy ...,You shouldn't forget the CzechSlovakia was a oldest country in Central Eastern Europe which even between the 2 wars was a democracy, by far not a perfect ones, it is not perfect, but still in the time, when all surrounding countries with the dictatorship, or the semi dictatorships, here, still was democracy, so democracy has the deep woods here. This already matured? No, There were not like of democracy thinking here, we have other disadvantages here, big ructions here, we have other diseases, but I think behavior of most Czech generation democrat.

Q: your comments on Mr. Vaclav Havel and Klaus?

A: You see you choose a wrong person to ask, because as you know, I worked for Mr. President Havel quite a part of my life, like it very much him, if you work for somebody, and work with whom closely, and still admired him , so he must be somebody, you see ? Because when I worked for somebody, that's packed the kisses, I would say I am still respect him and like him very much. I worked for long time with president Klaus too, he is intelligent man, he is a alone man, he is a interesting man, but we have very very different political view opinion, he is more nationalist? He is. Views many aspect that different, but it, he knows it, I know it too! But we know it for many years of each other.

It was a pleasure to meet you!

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